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June 20, 2008



I think the woman doth protest too much. It's like the movie Singin' in the Rain. The star on the silent screen couldn't talk, so they had someone do voice overs-- to make people believe that the woman on the screen and the voice they heard was the same. The voice is what they'd associate with the face.

The same thing here. The piece of meat-- I mean, the body double-- will be associated with her head everywhere, regardless of whether she wants it to or not.


I saw the movie several months ago and it was a scene that, to be consistent with history, was necessary.
The nude scene takes place during a torture (Spanish Inquisition) session where she is being pulled-up by a rope with her hands tied together behind her back. There really wasn't much of anything shown, since the scene was shot in low-lighting. There was also another brief scene where she is naked in a prison cell, but she is strategically to cover her privates, so to speak.

All in all, the scenes were not meant to be sexual, rather to show the inhumane forms of humiliation that were practiced during that time.

In terms of the question, I think it depends on the context of the nudity. If the body double is used for an erotic scene I don't view the actor as anymore proper for using the body double, as it's endorsing sensationalism


I read about that and could not put my finger on why it seemed wierd to me. You expressed in words exactly what I had been feeling. Thanks! Sandy


Very good point. I'm not really impressed by a person's moral standards if they refuse (rightly) to undress themselves, but have someone else paid to do it instead. What would have made a better statement on Ms. Portman's part would have been requesting for the scene to be adapted to fit her standards or even rejecting a role in the movie. Then that would've been a moral stance worth noticing.


Allison, I have to agree with you. A body double for commercial or artistic purposes is one thing, but a body double to preserve the public face of one's modesty doesn't seem to hold water. Now, if Miss Portman had said that she simply did not want to be nude in public, to actually *be* naked in front of fellow actors, crew members, et cetera, a body double would also have made sense--but then she would not have had any problem with whatever was done in the editing phase. What appears to be happening here is Miss Portman wants to maintain the so-called "moral highground" of being "an actress who doesn't do nudity" without sacrificing any of the money or fame that sticking to your guns (or sticking clothing to your guns, anyhow) requires. I think that it is a terrible shame that our society is structured in such a way that she feels ashamed to use her body in the way that she wants. Her hypocrisy is understandable--if she refused to play by the rules and feel properly ashamed and bashful, the media and media viewers would gleefully lump her in with the rest of the herd of starlets who are chastized for their scandalous behavior (whatever your or my opinions of it may actually be) on a daily basis. What a terrible, lamentable system.


Those who are not aware that there was a body double, will associate Portman's body with the double. Portman seems to think that warning the public that the nude body, in fact, did not belong to her, will stop that from happening. Portman understood that eliminating the scene from the movie was not possible, so she settled for the body double.

Rofigo de la Mancha

I can't comment on right or wrong. I think that I don't have the right to say what a woman feels about being displayed like that, since I'm a guy.

What I do see it as, though, is like wearing a costume, only it's a costume potraying yourself as nude. It's not really "your" body, but the implication is still that you're nude. Maybe Natalie Portman didn't want to reveal her own body to the public, but was okay with wearing a "costume" of nudity.

I guess then, is that another woman had to be literally objectified for that scene to work. It's okay to have _that_ woman be used as a naked "prop", but not okay for Natalie to be naked?

I think I'll side with the demanding the scene to be changed, and if fired from shooting, to have sued the production company for sexual harrassment or whatever is possible.

Erin P

Good points, Rofigo. There is an elitism there and a market for (interchangeable) body parts in Hollywood...sometimes it's the same argument people use to defend pornography, prostitution, or abortion -- "I personally would never do it, think it's bad...but I don't have a problem with another woman doing it"...the problem is we're such an individualistic culture that the stirrings of conscience we feel in the depths of our soul, that dignity and those standards, we somehow don't really believe matters as much for the other person.


I think I have to agree with Christine M here -- if it was truly necessary for the movie, there are cases where nudity does not compromise modesty -- whereas being naked in front of a crew (many of whom may well consider it arousing) is a different case.

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